Former Middlesbrough forward Noel Whelan says he would expect loanee Patrick Roberts to thrive if he was to move to Celtic when the transfer window reopens.
The 23-year-old has made an impression since joining from Manchester City on a temporary basis in January, and manager Jonathan Woodgate is said to been to keep the winger for another season.
However, Celtic who had Roberts on loan for two years between 2016 and 2018, have reportedly offered £3m to sign him permanently, and Whelan thinks a return to Scotland could be on the cards:
“Sometimes you need to go away to get better and if you do come back, you come back more of a mature player, you’ve progressed your career and maybe hit the heights that you expected beforehand.”
“I think it would be a good move. I think he’d be relishing the chance to show what he can do after being away. I think that would be a good opportunity. I’m sure Celtic wouldn’t be interested unless they really thought that he was the player they expected”
With Roberts’ loan set to expire in June, there are doubts over whether the winger has played his last game for the Teessiders.
Boro could propose another loan deal, but Manchester City are believed to be keen to see the player continue his development at a higher level. While he could end up remaining at the Etihad or moving to Celtic, there doesn’t appear to be much chance of him extending his stay at the Riverside Stadium.